The Organization

    A startup incubator with emphasis on eCommerce with the goal of starting businesses that will eventually utilize commercial space in the city of Santa Cruz and broader Santa Cruz County. Our ultimate goal is to plant successful, digital-savvy businesses that will maintain vibrance and diversity of business in the area.

    C2B is a subsidiary of the Santa Cruz Small Business Development Center (SBDC). The Santa Cruz SBDC is funded in part by the US Small Business Administration and is housed by Cabrillo College. There are no for-profit entities involved except for our technology partners and of course the commercial real estate market, however, we strive to place businesses in subsidized and city-owned properties.

    We have a core, digital-native team of generalists from the eCommerce industry. From merchants to agency owners. Our staff is then supplemented by local experts with a long pedigree in the more traditional challenges businesses face. In addition to web design and digital marketing, our experts and advisors also have vast experience in business planning, traditional marketing, real estate, law, and accounting. More can be found on our About page.

    Primarily the SBDC. We also receive funding and resources from the County and City of Santa Cruz and, on occasion, apply for economic development grants from state federal governments.

    The second quarter 2021 e-commerce estimate increased 9.1 percent from the second quarter of 2020...E-commerce sales in the second quarter of 2021 accounted for 13.3 percent of total sales. (US Dept. of Commerce)

    U.S. 2021 Retail Vacancy Rate May Rise To 7-Year High After Record Store Closings (Forbes)

    Entrepreneurs are cautious to open up a physical location after mandatory lockdowns. E-commerce is an unfamiliar landscape that keeps entrepreneurs from  effectively competing. Corporations are taking advantage of online data to open up physical locations and crowding out small businesses leading to high vacancy rates.

    The Program

    We're calling our approach "Digital-First Hybrid". The short answer is that the program can be 100% digital, however, community/peer-network development and some design curriculum is *best done in-person. Based on this, we will schedule OPTIONAL in-person classes and/or events. We will formalize this as we gain more feedback from the Survey (please fill it out if you haven't yet), but again, this program can be digital-only/100% online via zoom or similar web conferencing technology.

    Entrepreneurs who have started or will start an eCommerce business with the intent of opening a physical store. 

    Anyone currently making their own product (ex: Idea Fab Lab members & Cabrillo Maker Space)

    Only unique products and services (no drop shipping)

    The program is offered at absolutely no cost, however, participants will need to make a small monetary investment to pay for software and upkeep of their websites.

    How much will I spend on software, etc.?

    Estimated costs are as follows:

    - Shopify: $79/mo

    - Misc Apps (operations and user experience): $99/mo

    - Contract design services (logo/branding): $500/one-time

    - Industry-specific manufacturing consulting (if needed): $250

    - Fab Lab time (if needed): 60-80 hours to get a product to the point where it can be replicated (many hours in addition to this but not on the fab lab clock) - Please inquire for current hourly rate

    1 hour per week for live instruction plus approximately 1 hour per week in homework for 11 weeks. We estimate each student will spend, on average, 5-10 additional hours per week implementing what they have learned and developing their product.

    We host our classes and flex space at or NextSpace in Downtown Santa Cruz. Every other class is done in-person. We may also offer a webcast version for anyone concerned about meeting in-person, however, being a highly creative and collaborative endeavor, we feel it's important to make an in-person connection and work in the same space on occasion.

    C2B shares the same partners as the Santa Cruz SBDC. This includes the City and County of Santa Cruz, California Go-Biz, SBA, Cabrillo,, and NextSpace.


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